Help Youth Connect to Their Heritage During African American History Month

An African American family

Grantees of the Family and Youth Services Bureau serve diverse populations, including African American youth. Young people who have experienced homelessness, witnessed domestic violence, or are at risk for becoming pregnant have overcome adversity and with the support of FYSB staff, have learned to focus on their resilience. . During African American History Month, organizations have the opportunity to help such youth connect with their heritage and the resilience of their ancestors.

Staff can access dozens of resources designed specifically for African American History Month. From photos and videos to interviews and digital art exhibits, group facilitators will find everything they need to plan an activity or lesson that illustrates the culture and achievements of African Americans.

Here are several resources to help staff get started:

African American History Month. This web portal contains resources from the Library of Congress as well as items from the collections of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National Archives and Records Administration. Make sure to check out these section links in the top left of the webpage: “Exhibits and Collections,” “Audio and Video,” and “Images.”

National Endowment for the Humanities. The NEH’s EDSITEment website, which provides a curated collection of humanities resources, has a special section designed for African American History Month. Resource links are organized chronologically by historical period. One of the links takes readers to the NEH’s Created Equal site, which provides access to four full-length films.

National Park Service. Young people can connect African American historical events with the places where they took place thanks to digital resources at the National Park Service’s “African American Heritage” website. Don’t miss the “We Shall Overcome” minisite, which you can access by going to the “Features of People, Places & Stories” section heading and clicking on the right directional arrow.

Scholastic. Discover 28 African American History Month activities designed for children and youth. Staff can access lesson plans centered around Maya Angelou, Spike Lee, Nelson Mandela, and other historic and cultural figures. There are also activities and lessons based on recipes, music, and clips from the film “Precious.”

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Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

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